Saturday, December 15, 2018

Goodbye My Friend, Jimmy Sullivan

Hello My Little Buttercups...............

This post is really hard for me to write, but I have to do it to honor my friend and deal with my emotions. I have had some sangria, and I am listening to some alternative music by candlelight.

 For Starters, here is his blog:

Jimmy died last Saturday, and I didn't know until Monday morning when Luly said she saw something on Facebook but wasn't sure. Something in my gut told me it was true. I immediately called his phone, and fully expected it to go to voicemail. I was about to resign myself to the fact that I would have to speak to a machine/recording, but his sister answered the phone. I was just so relieved that when I called his number, it was answered one last time, even if it wasn't him. His sister saw that my name was saved in his phone, and took my call. She said she was finding out that he had a lot of friends. She was trying to keep it together, but I could tell she was about to cry at any moment, and I felt so bad for her, and didn't want to take up any of her time or energy, but I was so relieved to get her, and so grateful she took my call.

I first started blogging in 2003 met Jimmy online around 2007/2008 when it was AOL Journals. Then around 2008, AOL decided to stop hosting blogs, and said we could transfer everything to Blogger, which we both did. We kept reading each others' blogs and commenting, but never thought much of it, I never thought I would end up moving to Florida.

But in a twist of fate, I did move to Florida, and I met Jimmy and another blogger, Ileana in 2014 at his favorite watering hole, Area 51. He would always talk about about "Area 51", his favorite bar in Miami Springs.

Life is funny. I was so unhappy in California, and wanted so desperately to move to Florida. I was reading Ileana's blog and I was so envious of her life in tropical Florida as an artist. I never thought I would also meet Jimmy, but through her I also met Jimmy, and was finally able to put the pieces together and see for myself "Area 51" and hear his witty jokes in person.

Though Jimmy was almost forty years older than I, he had a witty and twisted sense of humor that I loved. I stole a lot of his jokes and punchlines over the past ten years. We both also had a love for cats. He would always talk about his cats, Samantha and Scooter.

Jimmy's death has hit me much harder than I expected. I have been on Prozac for the past four years to manage my depression, and this drug has been a life saver. My depression has been kept at bay, and has allowed me the ability to do thinks like stare at a wall and simply enjoy the silence. But when Jimmy died, it's as if my depression has come out to play with me. It's like an old, familiar bad influence has come out of hibernation to tell me that he has been thinking of me, that he always knew I would be there for him.  No matter how much I try to hide it,  we are tied together. He wants me to join him. He wants me to relive the old days with him, when I would isolate myself and cry, or isolate myself and watch tv from dawn to dusk, or just lie in bed or on the bathroom floor because the weight on my chest was too heavy. No matter where I go, there it is, even if it's dormant. It's always there, just waiting to be awakened.

Though Jimmy was in his seventies and had some health issues, somehow I thought he would be around for much longer. I guess I thought his witty personality and jokes alone would carry him at least into his eighties. I thought he had a lot more time. Also probably because I am in my late thirties and haven't experienced a lot of loss, compared to most people, which has been a huge blessing, but at some point it comes to and end. I guess I took him in general for granted, even though I didn't mean to. I just always thought I could call him and he would answer the phone. Jimmy's death woke me up and gave me a good shaking because I am not getting any younger, this is life, and death will visit and pluck my loved ones from me one by one, and if it doesn't, it's because it's my turn. It's just going to happen, there is nothing I can do, and one day, this will be me. No amount of wishing otherwise can change that.

This has made me question my own mortality. Where is Jimmy now? Is he watching what is going on and is confused by what is going on? Does he know I care and that I am really sad? I know he wouldn't want me to be sad, but I can't help it. It doesn't go away.

When it's my turn, will I just be dormant and asleep and I'll never know I existed, or will I be witnessing everything happening without any ability to comfort anyone? Will anyone care that I am gone? Have I made any impact at all?

Life goes on. I have depression and sometimes I struggle, but in the end I am grateful to be alive and for life in general. I get to experience the world as life goes on here, and I have friends here. I still have a lot of loved ones that are living, and I want to be here with them. I have the curiosity to live as long as I can to see where my life goes, until it's over. When that time comes, I really hope I will be reunited with those that have left. But honestly, I don't know what will happen, and for that I am sad. I don't know if I will ever see those that have departed. I am relatively detached from the spiritual world, even though I have some belief in it.

I am going to bed now, I may or may not come back to made edits to this. I just had to get this out. If Jimmy were still here, he would be reading it. He always read what I wrote, and listened to what I had to say.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Still here...................

What's up my little buttercups?

I am still here my darlings................ How have you all been?

A lot happened since I last posted.

1) I got a new job way closer to where I live
2) Hurricane Irma happened and our office got completely flooded
3) My grandmother passed away
4) We finally moved back into our office 5 months after the hurricane
5) Parkland shooting happened

The new job I got was in my field. I basically went to a new employer because I wanted more responsibility, and I wanted to learn new things. Luckily I got what I was looking for, even if it can be hard to learn on the fly. Definitely no complaints.

Hurricane Irma was my first hurricane here in Florida, and getting my condo boarded up last minute was a nightmare. It was a miracle I ended up with boarded windows. The person I initially hired to do everything did get wood and did cut it for me, but he went to get more screws, left his tools at my house to guarantee he would return, but never did. I still have his tools at my house, lol. I am not mad at him because he stood in line during the chaos of every hardware selling out of wood planks, and cut the wood in the right sizes. ( I could have never have done that on my own). However, it was really hard finding an available person to finish boarding up my condo. I hate socializing outside the internet, but I was going around my neighborhood meeting neighbors, asking for help and hoping for the best. I was lucky to find someone.

My grandmother also passed away. It was her time to go. She was 97 years old, but it doesn't make it any easier to lose a loved one. She was very much loved. She was a role model for me, and I miss her. She was born in 1920, the year women were allowed to vote for the first time. She would always tell me what it was like as a new mother during the war, being a working woman and how hard it was for a working woman to get any respect from her male coworkers, or the men that had to report to her. She also went through a divorce in the days that divorce was a huge scandal. I always loved listening to her experiences. Women like her definitely had it harder than the generations after.

Last week was the shooting at Stoneman Douglass highschool. I didn't realize how close I live to the school, I only live ten miles away. Highway 95 was flooded that day with first responders and helicopters.

I was a senior in high school when the shooting at Columbine happened in 1999. It was a huge shock then, and things have only gotten worse. I see a lot of gun debates on Facebook, and these conversations need to happen. We definitely need to talk about guns, gun control and school safety. It took long enough for this to really be out and open in the media.

I don't have the answer or solutions to school shootings. I have opinions, but I don't post them on social media. But I am glad that people from all walks of life are talking about it. There are so many points of view on the subject, and at least this event has forced us to face this problem.

That's all for now, time to clean my condo and do laundry.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Genealogy Trails

Hello My Little Marshmallows,

As you know, I have been researching my ancestry lately,  I am looking into the origins of my father's paternal side, the origins of my surname. Growing up, I wasn't able to get much information about my great-grandparents who immigrated from Minsk Belarus (then Russia) to England and finally to the United States, but I have been able to get more information off of and such as:

1) Naturalization documents
2) Newspaper publishing addresses of businesses or gifting of property
3) Addresses of residences in the phone book and via the census
4) Registration cards for WW1.

It's fun to get information piece by piece and string it together, to get a clearer picture of their lives, and to match the information I find to the letters I have from my great-grandmother, and the stories I've heard here and there growing up.

It's interesting to see what life was like for immigrants back then, and I tend to believe the saying, "the more things change, the more they stay the same". In my genealogy class, the biggest myth that got busted for me, was that our ancestors didn't face bureaucracy back then, like we do now. Until now, I really thought that my immigrant ancestors became US citizens almost immediately. I noticed that though they immigrated the the US in 1905, they didn't become citizens until 1921, and they didn't shorten their names immediately after arriving at the Port of New York, they changed it when they became naturalized citizens.

Yesterday I obtained a copy of my great-grandmother's death certificate. I was really looking forward to getting my hands on it, because I didn't even think the county would release that information to me.  I wasn't home to pick it up (UPS required a signature), so I had to drive to a real
run-down area (the filthy buttcrack of my county) in town and wait over an hour, and I wasn't even mad about it,  I really wanted the information on it.  I didn't think I would feel much emotion opening the envelope and reading the death certificate, but I did feel emotional. It was the end of her life, and it's always interesting to capture the last moments of someone's life up to the funeral. Because death usually catches you by surprise, you don't know when it's your time. When I worked in personal injury and someone passed away, I also got emotional dealing with their cases, and moreso in this case, because she is my ancestor, even though this happened over seventy years ago.

My great-grandmother started her life in another continent, and ended up somewhere completely different. Life wasn't easy for her, and she had a difficult life no doubt, but she and my great father did escape antisemitism and built a life and family in this country. She had a much better outcome than many people she started out with in her hometown, as well as many of her siblings and their descendants (I am friends on Facebook with some of them).

I ordered her death certificate to find out why she died (heart disease), where she died (hospital no longer around), who provided family information on the death certificate (her daughter), where she had her funeral (funeral home is still in business), and where she is buried (in a Jewish cemetery in East Los Angeles), and the names of her parents (so I can continue my genealogy adventures).

I enjoy genealogy because I tend to live in the past and connect it to the present. Also, I enjoy research.

I don't know what my ancestors would think if they knew I was looking for their information. Most of them were too busy trying to live their lives day to day raising their families, they probably didn't give much thought to their descendants. Will someone come and look me up long after I am gone? Who knows? I am doing all of this for my knowledge and benefit, and it may stay with me until I pass and go nowhere further. Honestly, other than a few conversations here and there, most family members aren't too interested. I don't have a romantic idea of my existence living on after death, it is quite possible my boxes of stuff may get dumped out.

Life is short, studying genealogy helps me realize that. But I am alive now, and I am happy to be alive and still be able to decide my fate.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Linkin Park

Hello My Lovelies,

I am sad that Chester Bennington from Linkin Park committed Suicide.

Until I was in college, I was only listening to boy bands and bubble gum music. Up until that point, I went to Christian schools, and I had lived a very sheltered life in a bubble (actually a CULT, but "bubble" sounds cuter), and had very little experience with the real world.

When I went to college and lived on campus, I was dealing with campus life, a full course load, and two jobs. I had a full schedule, and untreated anxiety and depression that was beginning to surface, that I still hadn't identified. What I mean by that, is growing up anxiety and depression didn't exist. Anxiety and depression were signs from the Devil and I needed to be more positive and pray more, and worship the leader of our cult more.  So the stronger the symptoms got, the more worked up I became, thinking I was going to the dark side. I never thought to reach out to mental health professionals, because I was taught that was a sign of weakness and that I had no control over myself. So I managed to bury my feelings for a while until I broke down.

I didn't have a TV moment breakdown where I screamed at everyone, or became violent, and I didn't need to be restrained. Instead, it started out with me waking up feeling completely miserable and being unable to eat. I went to the cafeteria for breakfast and ate a large breakfast. I knew I would need to eat a lot for a while since I wasn't hungry and didn't want to eat again for the rest of the day. Eating that meal was torture and it took a while, but I got through it.

As I was leaving the cafeteria, my stomach hurt, and I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. I rushed to the grass and threw up everything I had just ate, and I do mean everything. One of my dormmates saw me, and was really worried. I convinced him I was okay and went to my room and lied down on my bed. I started to feel so much pain in my chest and body, and I knew that I wasn't going to accomplish much that day. I had no other choice than to reach out to the health center on campus, and thank GOD they were there.

At that point, I began to cry and the student nurse was very understanding. This was the first time I was reacting so strongly, I had no control over what was happening, and I was scared. I also had a full courseload and didn't know I was going to manage. I was scared I was going to starve myself by not eating. He looked at me with compassion in his eyes and said that my body won't let me starve, it will force me to want to eat. He also said that I could get medically excused and drop my classes and take time off (virtually impossible otherwise), and I could see the school psychiatrist. I was scared to see a psychiatrist, but I took the appointment, I had to so I could get excused from my classes.

Although I didn't like the psychiatrist I saw (I am pretty sure it was mutual), I did drop a class and retook it over the winter. I got my first prescription filled, took one dosage, and because I didn't feel better that day, mistakenly thought it wasn't working and stopped taking the rest of it.

But nevertheless, I did manage to get better and discovered bellydance a few months later, which helped keep a lot of symptoms at bay.

During this time, I discovered alternative music, such as Linkin Park, Puddle of Mudd, System of a Down, 311, Nirvana and Papa Roach just to name a few. Linkin Park was by far my favorite and I watched all of their music videos. Chester screaming got me through a lot of study sessions at the library (headphones of course), and helped me realize that many of us are "crazy" and fighting our own battles.

Keep in mind that though my battle with anxiety and depression didn't get easier after this point,  it was a starting point, in realizing that I had a problem, and I couldn't ignore my feelings or surpress them any longer. Of course I tried,  and my journey has never been linear, but at least I have gotten better over time.

Linkin Park got me through college, and was there for me again when I left the cult for good.

It is really easy to condemn Chester Bennington for killing himself, especially since he left his wife, children, band and fans hanging. I don't agree with what he did, but I don't condemn him either because it is a really rough place to be in.

It is really controversial to talk about this, because unless you come out blatantly condemning suicide and the people who took their own lives, people will view you as supporting it.

I do not support it, and I want to live. I am thankful to be alive every day. When I was in the cult and wrote to the leader about my depression and how I felt there was no joy in my life, and what is the point of living, she took an active role in telling others I was suicidal and wanted to kill myself. That's false, I will fight for my life if I have to.

But on the other hand, experiencing my own prison of mental illness, and knowing it's far worse for others, I can see why some people see death as the only way out. That is because things have gotten so unbearable for them, they may have messed up and made poor decisions, and they don't think anyone could forgive them or understand.

Depression is different for everyone, but when I was experiencing the worst of it, there was no joy in my life, it was a fight to just even try to enjoy anything. Getting up and functioning was so exhausting, I remember once while I was showering, shampooing my hair was so much work, I didn't even finish the job and condition my hair because I couldn't muster up the patience to finish the job. I then got out of the shower and laid on the floor for another hour.

Depression for me came as a fog, arrived when I least expected it and just clouded my brain. Sometimes it left, but it always returned.

If you are reading this and suffer from mental illness, I do get it. I may not know your circumstances, I may not have the same symptoms as you, but I do understand. Keep on going. Live your live minute to minute, second to second, and don't be afraid to reach out to someone. I am happy you are still in this world.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Le Weekend..............

What's Up My Kittens?

How is your weekend? It is hot as Hell here in South Florida. It's is hotter than the devil's nut sack.

I have a headache today. I didn't drink coffee today, and I am paying dearly for it because I clearly have a caffeine addiction. But I do have to cut back, because it really can really make my heart pound, and that's not healthy.

I got my hair cut yesterday, and I feel so much better. My hair had grown down to my butt, but it was just too much, especially since half it was color-treated. Now I am back to all my natural colored hair, and no more dead hair. I forgot that my hair could have volume. Who knew?

What else.......... I have researching family history on It's interesting to see the migration patterns of my ancestors. They are long gone, but I still have some of their letters. I wonder if they knew it would end up with me?

All of my mother's side of the family is still in Europe so I am talking about my father.'s side. His father's parents escaped religious persecution because they were Jewish, and immigrated to New York in 1905 to make new lives for themselves. They lived the American Dream, learned the language, had more children, at least one served in the Army, and owned a home and business. It is interesting to follow their stories through the Censuses, as well as by reading letters my aunt handed down to me.

My dad also send me a huge box of color slides from his marraiges, travels, and my childhood. I am going to invest in a slide machine and break out the wine.

I am not sure if anyone will come to me for family information down the line, probably not. I am one of the few that actively looks up information. I wouldn't call it research, as that would require me to get offline and go look up records on micro film and microfiche (can't remember the difference between the two) and verify information I find, with information I've been told by family.

Other than that, my depression is returning, and I try to manage the feelings. I had been on a very long happiness streak, but sometimes the old feelings come back and blindside me. I have to accept that and just go with it. Fighting it just makes it worse. I woke up with a pit in my stomach, and getting out of the house took forever because I just kept lying down. Once I got out of the house, I was moving slowly, and had very short patience with people in traffic and at the store. I wanted to cry, and I haven't wanted to do that for so long. It's like I realize that I moved to Florida all of a sudden, what am I doing here, where am I going in life, and I am not getting any younger!

I have been complacent lately in life, and although I have been blissfully ignorant, I have developed bad habits such as bad sleeping patterns, bad diet choices, and sleeping half of the day on weekends.
Don't get me wrong, I love it, and it has made me happy and relaxed, but this is definitely not how I want the rest of my life to play out, because I have things I actually want to accomplish. My medication has helped with my mood, but I still carry old habits from when I wasn't taking anything.

I have dreams in life of promotions, of decorating my condo, or more travel, of getting back into dance, and I can't actively live all this out with my current habits. Maybe one day down the line, actually get married and share my life with someone, and I can't live the way I currently do and make that happen.

The problem is, my old habits are extremely hard to break. What helps me get through this is to accept my feelings, and complete small tasks one after the other. Today I started small things like cleaning the litter box, and mailing a letter I've been meaning to mail. Then I dumped the trash. Small tasks, no big deal. I didn't get very far, but that's okay. Sometimes I do, and I make great strides in cleaning and getting stuff done. Many people spend time doing all their cleaning in one shot. That is just not me, at least not yet.

Okay, enough about me for today. Besitos my lovelies!